• Olivia Richman

Crossovers, Crossovers, Crossovers

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FirstBlood Inc. or any members of the FirstBlood team. I’ll be clear right up front — I don’t like crossovers in video games.

These virtual, interactive ads are so blatant in their mission to entice children that I already find it sickening and tacky. There is no denying that there is some fun to be had with the concept of popular anime and movies being playable within an unexpected new world, but I think crossovers have just been taken too far.

Crossovers have been around forever. Even Crash Bandicoot and Spyro have teamed up before back in the 90s. Fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Soul Calibur, and Super Smash Bros. have featured crossover characters since the 90s as well.

Okay, I’ll be honest — again. I wanted the last Smash fighter to be a Nintendo character. I was sick of the “iconic nostalgia bait character joins Smash” trend and was honestly praying that Master Chief and Crash Bandicoot would never set foot on Battlefield.

But going back a bit…

Crossovers have always been a thing. It’s easy to see why fans get excited about them. But I think that they have lost their touch recently. They have become a blatant, cringe advertisement that I no longer feel any excitement for. And that probably started with Fortnite.

Fortnite has luckily died down but the battle royale has not slowed down the crossovers. Nothing is off-limits. Rappers, superheroes, video games, TV shows, athletes, cartoons… Fortnite will put anything in the game for the right money. If you have something that needs to be promoted to children, why not pay to put it in Fortnite?

Since Fortnite started raking in the dough, it seems other games have started following this model. Crossovers are no longer a once-in-a-while treat for gamers. They happen every season or chapter or update.

Now we have Attack on Titan in Call of Duty: Vanguard, a game about World War II. We have Godzilla fighting Kong in an otherwise serious PUBG map. We have children looking at Chun Li’s butt in Fortnite. We have Snake fighting Mario in Super Smash Bros.

One of the most recent crossovers was Rick and Morty coming to Rainbow Six Siege. The Mr. Meeseeks bundle brought a cartoon hoodie to Siege, a dark shooter about fighting terrorists. This was the second time Rick and Morty has come to the game and some fans couldn’t take it anymore.

On Reddit, many claimed that this was the “final nail in the coffin,” explaining that they were getting sick of Siege “losing its vision” by including goofy, funny cosmetics. It’s quite jarring for some players to be puppet versions of operators with deep background stories or enter a terrorist fight with a sparkly unicorn costume on. But while this could be seen as just a fun thing for players to do, some also pointed out that it puts teams at a disadvantage. Cosmetics actually help in Siege, where some outfits can help you blend in a bit better. If your teammate is Pickle Rick walking around a bank, good luck.

This could be seen as just petty Reddit ranting — and it is. But there is no denying that Rainbow Six Siege has always been seen as a serious and mature version of Call of Duty and other FPS titles. Adding goofy skins may have some people chuckling due to the contrast and shock value, but is it necessary? Why must all games have these silly cartoon cosmetics?

Because Fortnite did it?

Crossover cosmetics and events are not the end of the world. Most games are facing much bigger issues with balancing, bugs, and cheaters. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find these crossovers annoying and insulting. I won’t lose sleep at night over Tenet being in Fortnite, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Apex Legends has almost no crossovers at all except for one with a Los Angeles-based clothing line. And it’s refreshing. When I play Apex Legends, I feel immersed in the lore and atmosphere of the game. Everthing in Apex Legends is meant to feel like it’s part of that world.

Meanwhile in Valorant, there are people cosplaying as Attack on Titan characters while fighting Nazis.

Again, crossover cosmetics are not a big deal. But if you ask me, yes, I do want them to go away. Let’s go back to enjoying games for what they are — the character designs, maps, and worlds that make them unique. Let’s get rid of the walking advertisements and repetitive “it’s from a different world so it’s wacky/wild/funny” joke. Let’s actually feel the difference between each game instead of jumping from ad to ad.

And yes, I do enjoy playing Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. What of it?

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